After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the back-to-back days of deals, join us in kicking off the holiday season on #GivingTuesday.
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving back. On the Tuesday, November 29th, you’ll have a chance to join people around the world who are supporting causes close to their hearts.
Stuart & Laura Ellis have chosen to support the ministry of Desperately Dependent Community. Stuart shared his story with us to explain in part why his family supports DDCommunity.
I’ve had several friends tell me they wish they could see a miracle like the ones described in the gospels. I shake my head. “You don’t really want to see a miracle. True miracles are messy, their circumstances heart-breaking, their recipients desperate. That is the real truth of the miracles in the gospel, and the miracles today. Take my own miraculous healing for instance.
“I want to talk about my anger with God.”
It was the fuel that had powered my life of high-flying rebellion and sin for almost thirty years. Now, with that life in shambles, it was time to finally let it go. I’d spent several weeks in one of Kirk Lewis’ counseling groups and couldn’t not talk that night. Kirk gave me a nod.
“Why are you angry with God?”
“When I was twelve, I watched my father die outside my bedroom window.” And there it was, my justification for everything. I was allowed to do whatever I wanted because God had destroyed my world and left me to fend for myself. And I was ready to defend that attitude against Kirk’s arguments. The sovereignty of God, the mysterious machinations of God’s hand in our lives that magically turns everything to good, all the things that the adults from our church told a scared twelve year-old that cold December night a week before Christmas. I’d spent a lifetime shaking my fist at the God of those words and I was ready with my defenses.
Kirk stood up and went to his whiteboard. The rest of the group sat quietly. I braced myself and wondered which argument he would throw at me. And then he asked a question out of left field, a question that I didn’t have any pat answer for.
“How would you feel different today if your father hadn’t died?”
It took a few minutes for the answers to start. After thirty minutes the whiteboard had over twenty items. I paused while Kirk studied the feelings I’d named. He drew arrows that connected items until the list was pared down to its roots. Two items were dominant, all the others feeding into them.
Loved and accepted. That is what I was missing. Aching loneliness was what I felt. It was what I had felt since that night in my bedroom, twenty-eight years before. And I was convinced that if my father were still alive, the loneliness would be gone and love would take its place.
Kirk let me think for a few minutes while he thumbed through his Bible. Then he started reading verses. Verses that told me of God’s love for me, His acceptance of me in Christ, His promises that I was never alone. After several verses Kirk closed his Bible and looked at me.
“Everything you want, everything that is listed on that board, God has promised to give you. That means that if your father had to be alive for you to have them, he would still be here. The choice is yours. You can believe what God has said, or you can hang on to your anger.”
When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. (John 9:6-7 NKJV)
I’ve often pondered the idea of instant healing. The addict who prays and God immediately takes the desire away. I don’t argue the point, but I think there is more involved than just that moment. That night my scales fell away. I saw everything through new eyes. My wife told me later that a different person came home from counseling that night. You could say it happened in an instant. But for me it had taken most of a lifetime.
On #GivingTuesday, this global day of giving, DDCommunity is raising $12,000 to retire the debt of the initial start-up costs of Desperately Dependent Community. July 2014 Desperately Dependent Community formed to engage and encourage Christian leaders to find Christ relevant to every area of life thereby promoting effective, sustained ministries. July 2015 DDCommunity Center opened its doors to function as the home of our ministry endeavors. Over and over again our guests comment on what a comfortable, inviting, peaceful setting we have. Can you help us retire this debt?
If you wait to contribute on Tuesday, November 29th, DDC will be reimbursed for processing fees, but if you think you might forget, we would be honored to receive your gift today!
Thank you for joining with Desperately Dependent Community to help us help Christian leaders help you!